Lionesses Held By Jets With Top Spot At Threat
Moreton Bay Utd 2 (McElligott 13′, 89′)
A late equaliser from recent Jets signing Meaghan McElligott saw Lions and Moreton Bay Utd take away a share of the points at Lions Stadium on Friday night in this top four clash.
Lions, still without Mariel Hecher through injury, were quickly on the back foot as Jets came out of the traps quickly.
An early chance fell to Alexandra Schaefer who’s attempted lob found Lions keeper Ellen Hepburn beaten but not the bar as the ball floated onto the top of the net.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net on ten minutes but the assistant’s flag ruled it offside, however two minutes later Moreton Bay took the lead.
A surging run from McElligott saw her power her way into the box before checking back on her right foot and drilling the ball past Hepburn high into the net.
Lions first real chance came midway through the half when Tanesha Stanley beat the offside trap but with just Coco Majstorovic to beat, she sliced her shot across the box.
Schaefer almost extended Jet’s lead shortly after but her shot drifted just wide of the upright with Hepburn stranded.
The hosts enjoyed greater possession as the half drew close to conclusion and with just over five minutes remaining they restored parity. Kate Morton’s ball in for Riding saw the Lions striker in space in the box and able to slip the ball beyond Majstorovic to see the sides go into the break all square.
Jets again threatened early when the second half resumed and again it was Schaefer who was wasteful when firing high over the top following Jazmyn Perin’s cut back to the middle of the box.
Lions regained some control of the game and should have taken the lead when Riding was once again through on goal, but her first touch let her down as the ball went harmlessly to Majstorovic.
But a minute later the Lions faithful were treated to perhaps a goal of the season contender. Stanley squaring the ball for Lana Harch who, from some 25 yards out and with the outside of her right foot, curled the ball into the top left corner to put the hosts ahead for the first time.
The hosts went in search for the goal that would perhaps put the game to bed but despite the best efforts of Riding who’s tireless running failed to yield the desired result, as the game went on, Lions were forced further and further back as the visitors pressed.
Moreton Bay going in search of the leveller saw goal scorer McElligott thwarted by a superb tip over save from Hepburn shortly after the hour mark when the Jets striker attempted to chip her. Soon after McElligott spurned a good opportunity by placing her header over the bar when allowed space in the box to pick her spot.
The clock was now becoming the visitors enemy but with a minute remaining the Lions defence was finally breached. The hosts failing to clear their lines and turning over the ball too easily, which eventually found it’s way to McElligott who evaded a couple of challenges before powering a shot past Hepburn who had little chance.
On the balance of play it was a fair result. Jets came with a game plan and looked hungrier for the ball.
The result now opens the door for Lions’ rivals to close the gap with both Souths United and The Gap welcoming the draw.
“You’ve got Moreton Bay in 4th spot looking to maintain that finals position and us at the top looking for the premiership so you had two teams looking to achieve three points on the night and we got a full on battle and we came away with the one point which is a bit disappointing.”
“I think the girls in that second half performed really well and think we’d won enough to get the three points but that’s football, those last couple of minutes are always a killer and we had to settle for the draw.”
Hepburn (gk), Franke, Chapman, Stephens, Morton, Riley, Riding, Stanley, Harch, Kenman, Hogg.
Subs: Dale (rgk), Schiavo, Hecher, Gunston, Disavia.
Moreton Bay Utd
Majstorovic (gk), Schaefer, Walker, Askin, Harrison, New, McElligott, Howson, Daniells, Perin, Head.
Subs: Oates (rgk), Gibson, See, Schirmer, Spreadborough.